On the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, the town of Copacabana is where the locals come to play. And play they do, on jet skis, paddle boats, kayaks, and boats of all sorts and sizes.
Away from the lakeshore the town’s people get on with the business of making a living; selling their produce,
their services as guides, or tickets to La Paz —a four hour bus trip away.
We added Copacabana to our trip after chatting to other travellers, people we met in the heart of the Ecuadorian jungle — more about that another time. “It’s off the beaten track,” they said, and it is.
This is the town square — cacti grow well here, as they do all through the Altiplano (the Andean desert highlands of Peru and Bolivia).
The Church in the town square is dedicated to the Virgin of Copacabana, the patron saint of Bolivia. The carved wooden door of the church tells the story of the arrival of Christianity to Bolivia and the history of the construction of the Basilica.
When we arrived in Copacabana time was running out for us. The luxury of fifteen weeks on the road was reduced to the last seven days. John and I were both bemused at how fast the time had gone and yet, for me at least, after weeks in the desert highlands of the Altiplano of Peru and Bolivia I was longing for the blue skies and green hills of home. Even some rain would have been welcome. (I’ve been home just over a week, it’s rained nearly every day – perhaps I should learn to be careful about what I wish for!)
Our travel friends told us to take the time to visit Isla del Sol. You’ll need two or three days to enjoy it they said. The travel guides all say the same thing. We had one day. In my next post I’ll tell you how we squeezed three days in to one!